Meet this year’s candidates for the Mt. Laurel Township Council Election — Week 4

This year Mt. Laurel has three open seats for Mt. Laurel Township Council.

For the past several weeks The Sun has been asking candidates in the Nov. 8 election for council seats to respond to questions pertinent to local issues.

This week candidates were given space to make a “final pitch” as to why they should be elected/re-elected:

Republican Kurt Folcher

1.) Make your final pitch. Why should you be elected/re-elected to town council?

I’ve always tried to step up to help my neighbors, our children and our community. Mount Laurel is full of residents with diverse backgrounds, great ideas and a shared desire to pitch in to improve our community. I have been blessed to work with many of these residents as a coach and member of the planning and zoning board. I’m looking forward to expanding opportunities for our residents to serve and have a seat at the table in planning our future as part of a long-range planning committee.

Actively participating on local committees and as a member of the Mount Laurel Business Association, I have had the pleasure to see Linda and Irwin in action on our town council. I look forward to working with them to implement even more ideas to save taxpayers money and expand local programs, services and community events at the lowest cost to taxpayers.

My wife and I are the proud parents of two children and like all parents, we worry about the future for our kids. We stretch every dollar in our family budgets and responsibly save to ensure our kids have the college education and opportunities they deserve. As a financial advisor, my job depends on responsibly planning the financial future of businesses and families. I think many lessons learned in my industry enable me to make local government even more efficient and work cooperatively with our residents to build a financial roadmap that ensures that our shared priorities are achieved.

We have seen a large influx of new business come to Mount Laurel, expanding options for residents to shop locally, providing new jobs and giving us new revenue to offset residential property taxes and improve our roads and infrastructure. Mount Laurel has enormous potential for even more economic growth, and I have worked closely with local businesses identifying areas where we can tap that potential to roll out the red carpet for good-paying jobs and ratable revenue that can help us lower property taxes. If voters give me the opportunity to serve on council, I look forward to fostering a closer partnership between our businesses and government to expand local economic growth.

With a solid financial footing, leaders that know how to balance a budget while holding down taxes and a vision that brings residents, businesses and government together to plan our future, there is nothing we can’t achieve. Please help us keep Mount Laurel moving in the right direction by voting for my running mates, Linda Bobo, Irwin Edelson and me on Nov. 8.

Republican Linda Bobo

1.) Make your final pitch. Why should you be elected/re-elected to town council?

I’ve dedicated years to giving back to our community as a volunteer in our schools and with numerous community service organizations. On council, I have always strived to be a leader who listens.

As a long-time business owner and someone who works full-time building bridges with the business community, I’ve endeavored to institute the same financial principles that businesses and families live by in our local government. Our efforts through long-range planning, shared services and cost-saving measures yielded a zero-percent increase in property taxes this year with a lot of progress to show for it.

As a mother, making a difference for our children and leaving our town in a better financial condition to invest in programs and services for our families and seniors is my top priority. We worked with the county to secure funding for body cameras for our police, upgraded our public safety technology and partnered with first responders to provide more community-based programming. We’re building new parks, vigorously protecting open space to fight against overdevelopment and have welcomed a wealth of new businesses to our community.

Irwin and I know that Kurt Folcher’s fresh ideas, proven dedication to giving back as a coach, business leader and community volunteer and decades of finance and business experience will help us continue our progress in making Mount Laurel more affordable and accommodating to our residents.

If you want to continue our progress in holding down taxes, eliminating wasteful spending, investing in recreation opportunities for our kids and enhancing public safety for our family and seniors, please support our team.

Democrat Kareem Pritchett

1.) Make your final pitch. Why should you be elected/re-elected to town council?

Council candidate Kareem Pritchett, Sr. did not submit answers to this week’s questions by deadline.

Republican Irwin Edelson

1.) Make your final pitch. Why should you be elected/re-elected to town council?

A lot of politicians talk about fiscal responsibility, but real leaders deliver by making the tough decisions necessary to make government more efficient. Linda, Kurt and I don’t just talk about doing more with less money, we live by those principles every day. From balancing our family’s checkbook to our collective years of experience in the private sector running businesses, our real world experience comes in handy to develop innovative and common sense solutions to hold down taxes.

We put taxpayers first and ensure that every dollar spent by our government is invested responsibly. We plan for the future, turning ideas from our residents into a plan of action for the years to come. The financial steps we took ensured that our families and seniors pay the same amount in municipal taxes they did last year, while investing in improvements around our community. Our partnerships with surrounding municipalities, our schools and the county helped us reduce costs while improving our roads, local services, parks and giving our police, fire and EMS the tools needed to keep us safe.

We’ve worked closely with the business community to help pave the way for smart economic growth in Mount Laurel. Recently, a number of new businesses either expanded or relocated to Mount Laurel, bringing hundreds of good-paying jobs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue that will help us offset residential property taxes. LifeTime Fitness, iFly, Top Golf, the expansion of Rowan College, two new hotels, Bancroft, renovations to Ramblewood County Club and Walmart are just a few examples of new businesses that open their doors, expanded or that are under construction.

Linda and I hope that voters elect Kurt Folcher to his first term. As a fellow long-time youth sports coach, he knows how to foster teamwork and develop a playbook to achieve our community’s shared goals. As we look to attract quality companies to Mount Laurel, Kurt’s active membership in the Mount Laurel Business Association and years of private-sector business and financial experience are invaluable. If you share our dedication for a brighter, more affordable future, please support Linda, Kurt and me on Nov. 8.